Acerta: ‘Almost 40% of employees (partly) commute by bike’

In 2023, less than half of company cars (43,7%) in Belgium ran on diesel (57,8% in 2022), and a record number of employees (40%) commuted to work by bicycle – three years ago, it was only 33%. These are some findings from the latest mobility barometer from human resources service provider Acerta presented on Wednesday, based on data from more than 340 000 employees.

Fully electric cars had a breakthrough: their share tripled in one year to 10,1%, and hybrid cars also continued to gain popularity (17,1%). However, the share of traditional gasoline cars among commercial vehicles remained virtually stable at 28,8%, according to the Acerta data.

Share of diesel decreased

Traditionally, the vast majority of commercial vehicles were diesel cars. However, their share has steadily decreased in recent years. According to Acerta, in 2018, 85,5 % of commercial vehicles still had a diesel engine, and barely 13,% were gasoline-powered.

The fact that, for the first time, less than half of company cars run on diesel is due to the decision of the federal government to abolish the tax benefit on company cars running on fossil fuels from January 1st, 2026.

Quarter of employes got company car

Last year, almost one-quarter (23,5%) of white-collar workers owned a company car last year – slightly more than in 2022 (23%), and five years ago, this was 19,6%. Company cars remain interesting as a reward from a tax perspective. In addition, the war for talent plays a role. By offering a car, companies want to position themselves attractively as employers.

The share of company cars, therefore, continued to increase steadily in recent years, although the car is losing some ground compared to other means of transport. Bicycles and e-scooters, in particular, are gaining popularity: almost four in ten employees (39%) use them (partly) for commuting and often combine them with their car or public transport. Most commuting trips (77,7%) in Belgium are still made by car – with or without other means of transport.

Bicycle gaining popularity

The fact that the bicycle is gaining popularity is due to several factors. Bicycle infrastructure has improved, employees can receive an increased bicycle allowance, and the bicycle offer has been significantly expanded.

Public transport remains much less popular when commuting than private means such as the bicycle or car. Today, the number of commuters opting for public transport is 8,5%, about the same level as before the corona pandemic (8,3%).

Average of 20.8 km from work

Belgians live an average of 20,8 km from work. The commuting distance is greatest among residents of the Walloon provinces, with Hainaut as the leader (27,76 kilometers). In every province, most residents work in their own province, which is not surprising. Only in Walloon Brabant does 50% go to work outside their own province, mainly to Brussels and Flemish Brabant.​

The Acerta mobility barometer is based on actual wage data from more than 340 000 employees employed by more than 44 000 private sector employers. The data were collected between 2022 and 2023.

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